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After the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant on March 11th, 2011 the government and people of Japan have decided to shift away from a country that depends so heavily on nuclear power generation to one that focuses more on safer and cleaner renewable energy.

In August 2011 the 177th session of the Japanese Diet approved the Act on Purchases of Renewable Energy Sourced Electricity by Electric Utilities which obliges electric utilities to purchase electricity generated from renewable energy sources (Solar PV, Wind power, Hydraulic power, Geothermal and Biomass) based on a fixed-period contract with fixed price.  It is scheduled to start on July 1st, 2012.

 In April 2012 a government panel proposed high rates for the fixed prices used to purchase electricity generated by renewable energy, suggesting 42 yen (around 0.53 US cents) per kilowatt-hour of solar power and 23.1 yen (around 0.29 US cents) for wind power.  These rates are some of the highest feed-in-tariff rates in the world and could turn Japan, especially the Tohoku area, into a global hub for the development of renewable energy.

In addition to the government’s feed-in-tariff policy, Japan’s Environment Ministry passed legislation to loosen the guidelines regarding drilling for geothermal energy in national parks. 

One of the solutions to revitalize the devastated coastline of the Tohoku region is to develop this area into a center for the development of clean technology and projects. 

Private firms are already working with the government and research universities to develop pilot projects for offshore wind off the coast of Fukushima, solar PV projects are under development in Fukushima’s Minamisoma and three major Japanese firms have decided to build Japan’s largest geothermal power plant in Fukushima’s Bandai-Asahi National Park at 270 Megawatts (25% of the power generated by a nuclear reactor).




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